Millennials have a bad rep when it comes to money but for a generation that’s experiencing two global crises so far (Great Recession and a pandemic), it’s time to give some slack.
Despite popular opinions, we don’t spend all our money on frivolous things like avocado toast and coffee. We’re not killing homeownership, it’s just really hard to be able to afford a home with insane housing costs. And that quip about us being unambitious? Millennials are more likely to ask for a raise at work (and getting it) compared to Generation X and Boomers.*
Different generations like to bash on each other but we each have our own hardships, vices, and experiences. The fact that you’re reading this article shows you want to make a difference in your financial health. So no matter what “type” of millennial you think yourself or what society thinks of you, below are some fun and productive money moves you can add to your routine.
1. Take Control of Your Money When Things Seem Out of Control
Investments are down. 401(k)s are down. As indicative of the red arrows aiming down, things just seem to be out of control during these uncertain times.
There are, however, ways for you to control your money now. Through proper budgeting as well as getting rid of any non-essential subscriptions through Truebill, a free finance app that helps you track your money and offers services to make your life way easier.
Quarantine life is the best time to really go through on what you need, so let Truebill find all your current subscriptions (even ones you forgot about) and have them cancel any for you. They’ll also negotiate for lower bills (like cable, internet, and cellphone bills) and with job insecurities at the moment, knowing that you’re not overpaying for bills is a relief!
In addition, their solid budgeting feature helps everyone see where their money is going and how to handle it. Even if you don’t know how to budget!
2. Never Overpay for Car Insurance - Save $826 a Year
Let’s talk about the not-so-sexy topic of car insurance. You need it, you have it, but you’re probably overpaying for it. By how much though? It can depend on your car, location, age, and more, but on average you’re probably spending $826/year more than you need to.
You’ll know how much if you use Savvy to check for fast and easy savings. There are no forms to fill out since it uses your existing insurance info, and the system will instantly check for a better deal. It literally takes 30 seconds and they protect your phone number and email from spam.
Once Savvy finds you a better deal and you choose to switch, they’ll help you cancel your old policy, enroll you in the better one, and get a full refund on the unused portion of your prior payments. It’s the simplest and easiest way to get a refund on your overpriced car insurance policy.
3. School Competitors in Solitaire and Ca$h In
When you’re looking for something to do at home, check out Solitaire Cube, which is like regular Solitaire, except you get to play for real cash.
The game matches you with players of the same skill level, so all is fair. If you’re a good Solitaire player, you could win some serious cash, like Katie N. who took home $380,984 last year as one of the Top 10 Solitaire Cube players! Even casual players like Amanda, a stay-at-home mom from IL, won a 55″ TV, $6,000, and more!
So if you think you can handle playing some Solitaire Cube to win legit cash, definitely download this game for free.
Cash tournaments aren’t available in AZ, AR, CT, DE, FL, LA, ME, MT, SC, SD, TN, IN.
4. Get Cash Back on Groceries, Delivery, and More Both Online and Off
In a current world where you’re experiencing sold out items and having to limit grocery trips, it’s reassuring to know that you can still get cash back on your purchases both online and in-person.
Since saving is now more important than ever to stretch that budget, use Ibotta for free to further save on the essentials and shopping you need like:
Grocery shopping: Find offers in the app or try something new in your quick grocery trips to Trader Joe’s, Ralph’s, Target, and more. Even get cash back on grocery delivery from Walmart! Get paid after taking a pic of the receipt or linking your Walmart account.
Food delivery: Skip cooking a few times to have your meal delivered with Uber Eats or Grubhub and get cash back.
Online shopping: Just because you’re at home doesn’t mean you can’t treat yourself. Shop through Ibotta to get cash back at 100+ online retailers like Sephora, Under Armour, Gap, and more.
And since contactless payment is ideal over touching cash, use Ibotta’s included feature “Pay with Ibotta” to pay straight from your phone and earn cash back on your purchases instantly too.
Ibotta is free to download and you’ll also get up to $20 in Welcome Bonuses when you sign up!
5. Scan the Stuff You Buy & Get Free Rewards
The exclusive National Consumer Panel (NCP) program is opening up again for more participants! This is your opportunity to make your consumer voice heard! (And get paid for it)
When you become a panelist, just use the app to scan the barcodes of items you purchase, provide a few additional transaction details, and you’ll earn points for:
- Gift Cards
- Electronic Equipment
- Flat Screen TVs
- and much more from their gift catalog!
Plus, all panelists are automatically entered into weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annual drawings to win extra points and gift cards – even a quarterly sweepstakes to win $5,000!
The more you share your shopping habits (scan barcodes), the more rewards you can get. You can also answer surveys and share information about your overall shopping trip.
“Scanning my purchases is fun! I also enjoy taking the surveys. Earning points is fast and easy and they have a great selection of rewards.” – Jennifer B.
It’s a fun way to earn more rewards on items you’ve already purchased and at no extra cost to you.
Register now to see if you’re eligible to be a National Consumer Panelist. Eligibility will be based on your location. If you don’t get accepted this time, don’t worry! They’re always expanding locations, so check back again.
6. Fun Times in 3 Minute Increments – A Classic Game for $
Make as many 21s as you can within that time or until you run out of moves.
That’s the basic gist of 21 Blitz, a modern take on a classic game where you’re no longer just playing against the dealer but with actual people around the world.
It’s fast-paced and it basically does all of the math for you. This game is great for killing time and earning cash all at once which is perfect for home!
You can play for free against real people for prizes or switch over to cash games to win…well, cash! Cash game winners can win up to $7,000 or more in the mini-tournament.
Cash tournaments not available in AZ, AR, CT, DE, FL, LA, ME, MT, SC, SD, TN, IN.
7. Keep Calm and Invest - Starting with Just $1
Yes, the COVID-19 news that’s bombarding your feed can be scary. In addition to the Fed cutting interest rates and events getting banned, you might not even think about investing.
But it’s actually the time to start if you haven’t already. It doesn’t have to be complicated and you can easily start with, an investment app that only takes $1* to start and you’ll also get a $5 bonus* after funding your first investment.
Investing is for the long-term and in the app, you can choose where to put your money in.
Consider certain industries whenever there’s political, economic, or financial unrest. Stash offers investments in precious metals, pharmaceutical companies, major retailers, utility companies, as well as media, entertainment, and communication companies since more people will be staying home now. So keep calm, and invest!
8. Free Money for Your Grocery Receipts Online, Offline, and Friends
If you’re already using, you’re ahead of the game and you know you can scan in any grocery receipt (both online and offline!) to earn points towards free money. Get bonus cash when you refer friends (2,000 points = $2) and your friends will get a bonus too! There’s no limit to referrals.
Take a picture of your receipt with the app as well as connect your email accounts tofrom popular retailers like Instacart, Target, Walmart, Costco, and more. Yes, get points for cash for your grocery deliveries!
There’s no minimum spend, no need to manually select items, just scan in any receipt from a store that sells groceries (even if you didn’t actually buy any groceries) and boom, points for money.
Grab a $2 welcome bonus on us (2,000 points) when you use promo code REWARD before scanning your first receipt.
9. An Innovative New Way to Improve Your Credit Scores Instantly - And it’s Free
Having a low credit score can impact a lot in your life, like the ability to rent an apartment, get a car, and even a cellphone plan.
That’s why it’s important to maintain positive credit card payment history and to keep credit utilization ratio in check (not using more than 30% of your credit line on any credit card).
Regardless of what your score is currently at though, everyone can use a boost to their 3 digit number, and Experian® wants to help.
A new feature called Experian Boost™* can help instantly improve your credit scores for free.
Experian does this by adding your positive payment history from utility and telecom bills to your Experian credit file. This is huge, because previously, your gas, water, electricity, TV, internet, and phone bills that you already pay for didn’t affect your credit. Now it does and to your benefit of potentially increasing your credit scores!
It’s simple to start, and all you need is a free Experian Boost membership and a few minutes to connect read-only permission to the online bank accounts you use to pay bills. Experian will check only utility and telecom payments and get you credit for the payments you’ve already been paying.
This process doesn’t hurt your credit at all and you can choose to remove the boost if you want.
Compared to expensive and drawn out credit repair services, this new alternative is the fastest and no-cost way to instantly improve your credit scores.
*Results may vary, see website for details.
10. When Life is Getting Crazier: Refinance Student Loans or Borrow Money Responsibly
We don’t even know what’s going to happen a week from now but anything that can help financially should be considered.
If you have student loans, you can refinance with Credible’s online marketplace that matches you with Federal, private, and/or Parent PLUS personalized loan rates. Since the Federal Reserve has slashed interest rates, it’s the opportune time to refinance which can save you more money over time.
Colleen refinanced, which cut her federal rate down to 4.5% (originally 8%) and that saved her $12,000 over the life of her loan! During these uncertain times, we need to save wherever we can.
Personal loans are also on the marketplace if you need to borrow money to help with medical expenses, home projects, or anything else.
You just fill out one form and get personalized rates in a few minutes. Since it’s a soft credit inquiry, your credit score won’t be affected by using Credible.
11. Stack Your Cash Back Earnings with This App
When the coronavirus outbreak passes and the economy starts to rebound, we can get back to racking up rewards through our credit cards and travel reward programs.
In the meantime, free cash back apps like Drop, offers a practical and rewarding alternative that gives points back for shopping online at all your favorite brands, completing surveys, and playing arcade games in-app.
There’s virtually limitless earning potential and the points you earn turn into free gift cards that you can redeem at places like Amazon, Whole Foods, Target, Uber Eats and so many more.
Here are some of our favorite offers on Drop right now:
- Uber Eats – 50 points per $1
- Walmart – 20 points per $1
- eBay – 5 points per $1
- Glossier – 80 points per $1
- Lululemon – 120 points per $1 (limited time 3x boost!)
- Disney+ – 10,000 points for new members
- Instacart – 400 points for new members
This app is a no-brainer for anyone looking for new and fun ways to stretch their dollar at home!
Kickstart earnings today by using promo code SMARTWALLET to unlock 10,000 points ($10!!) automatically when you earn your first 1,000 points.
12. Be Prepared: Get $1 Million in Life Insurance for as Little as $8/Month
When you hear “life insurance” the first 2 things that might come to mind are death and finances. Ultimately it’s “I love you” money to your family after you’ve passed away, which should be talked about during these crazy times.
For most people, life insurance is logical but the long process could be deterring. Some life insurance companies can take up to 2.5 months for the approval process to complete, including paperwork and a comprehensive medical exam which may be inconvenient.
But one company is trying to change all that. Bestow’s mission is to offer affordable term life insurance in under 5 minutes without you having to talk to anyone. No exam needed either.
You can get up to $1 million in coverage and they offer 10 years and 20 years term options.
All of Bestow’s policies are issued by North American Company for Life and Health Insurance®, who’s been around for over 100 years and holds an A+ (Superior) rating with A.M. Best, a global credit rating agency for insurance companies.
In plain English terms, it means your policy is provided by a dependable insurance giant who has been serving customers for many years.
So if you’re between the ages of 21-54, here’s what they’ll ask:
- Your basic information (Name, Email, Address, SSN, etc)
- Some Life questions (medical history, hobbies, lifestyle)
- Beneficiaries (who would receive the money after insured’s death)
- Policy and payment details (If approved, you choose the monthly payment and enter credit card info)
Each policy has a “free look” period (usually 30 days) which means you can cancel if it’s not right for you and get a full refund.
And you can easily cancel your policy at any time.
Life insurance talk isn’t fun but Bestow is attempting to make it as easy as possible for people to get covered quickly. Go ahead and see what your rates are in just under 5 minutes. It’s the biggest “I love you” you can give to your loved ones.
*Bestow is currently not available in New York
13. Everyday Saving & Spending is Actually Fun Now
Look, we know managing your money is boring, but it’s just one of those non-negotiables in life. Especially these days, we need all the good vibes we can get with our money.
That’s whyis actually making banking fun by just playing free games on their app. Games are light and easy-to-play (think lotteries, scratchers, slots, and more) and you can win daily cash prizes up to $1M (yes, million) and crypto!
When you set up a savings account, you access the games. You get a full banking experience with all the bells and whistles; an FDIC-insured savings account earning interest, a Visa debit card for instant access to your cash, custom savings goals, and more.
The more money you save, the more you can play andlets you earn more rewards just by spending normally. It has a RoundUp feature that lets your purchases be rounded up to the nearest dollar with the change going towards your savings. So every time you’re buying a meal, getting stuff at Target, etc, you’re contributing to your savings and earning interest!
costs $3/month, or get it for free if you set up auto-deposit or direct deposit and use your card. They offer a 30-day free trial so you can check it out and see if it’s right for you. There’s no way to lose money, but plenty of ways to earn and win! Plus you can withdraw your money at any time.
14. Make 1.61% Interest On Your Money with Fee-Free Banking
Traditional banks may2 seem to take every opportunity they can to squeeze more money out of you. With everything from a monthly service fee to various hidden fees nibbling away at your account balance. Enter Varo which was founded to provide banking services without the hidden fees.
Yep, Varo has no monthly service fees, no foreign transaction fees, and no ATM withdrawal fees. On top of having no fees, Varo lets you make more money on your money. Varo provides a high-yield savings account that starts at 1.61% Annual Percentage Yield (APY)1 that can move up to 2.80% APY1 based on qualifying activity. To put this into perspective, the average APY of the 5 biggest national banks is 0.09%.*
Varo has a few sweet extra features too:
- Get your paycheck up to 2 days earlier^
- No minimum balance requirement
- Over 55,000+ AllPoint® ATMs worldwide to use your Varo Visa® debit card
- Offers personal loans to pre-qualified customers who want to consolidate debt
- Varo will send any paper check to anyone in the U.S. on your behalf
- “Save the Change” rounds up your purchases to the nearest dollar and saves the difference to your Varo savings account
If you’re sick of being charged banking fees and want to make more out of your money, check out Varo. It takes less than 5 minutes to learn more and apply for free.
15. Not Your Grandma’s Bingo - Play Anywhere for Cash
Classic bingo is a game based on both luck and skill since it takes strategy to beat the odds of the house and the players around you.
However, you can ditch the paper sheets and giant stamps in favor of Blackout Blitz, a fast-paced and competitive bingo game that you can play anywhere on your phone. And even against your friends virtually.
2 minutes. That’s all you need per game where you play against another person around the world. Everyone sees the same card and balls so by daubing (tapping the number) fast and correctly, you’ll get bonus boosts for more points! Tap the incorrect number and points will get docked so don’t get sloppy!
This easy-to-learn game is awesome for killing time and earning cash all at once, anywhere which is perfect for home.
You can play for free against real people for prizes or switch over to cash games to win…cash! Cash game winners can win up to $1,000 or more in mini-tournaments.
Cash tournaments not available in AZ, AR, CT, DE, FL, LA, MT, SC, SD, and TN.
16. Protect Your Income When You’re Too Sick to Work
The coronavirus pandemic has added a great deal of uncertainty to everyday life. One way to financially prepare for the unexpected is to protect your income from serious illnesses.
The best time to prepare is when you’re healthy. Yes, you’re taking the precautions and practicing social distancing. But what happens when your state decides to re-open and life resumes? There are still chances to get sick as there’s no vaccine currently. Plus, those who recover from COVID-19 may be at a greater risk for long-term health issues.
That’s why disability insurance is recommended. You need it if you rely on your source of income to live life. This is especially true if you have loved ones who financially depend on you.
Disability insurance isn’t just for injuries. In fact, illnesses (including mental health issues, such as depression) represent 90%* of long-term disability claims.
To make coverage more accessible and affordable, Breeze has built the first fully online disability insurance product. Answer some quick questions to get a rate in a matter of seconds. You can then choose your benefit period (most disabilities average 2 years) and complete a 15-minute online application.
If you’re approved for coverage, you’ll receive disability insurance benefits paid if you can’t work to make up for lost income. Plans start at $9/month* and benefit amounts range from $500 to $20,000.
It’s free to check out rates and you can apply online. Give yourself peace of mind, especially in these troubling times!
17. Earn $20 Per Hour to Start Teaching English To Kids Online Working From Home
If you’ve been considering a side gig to supplement your primary income or love the idea of working from home, consider teaching English online to kids ages 6-10!
EF Online (Education First) is a teaching platform helping to connect students in China and native English speakers for over 20 years now. It’s a flexible schedule where you can work from home, earn up to $20/hr to start, and all lesson materials are provided.
Here are the requirements:
- Must be a native English speaker living in the U.S.A or UK
- Bachelor’s degree in any field
- By the start of your teacher’s contract term, you must earn and submit documentation of a 40 Hour TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) certification (or higher)
- Agree to an online background check (no cost to you)
- Be available to work during set hours
- Have a solid wifi connection and headset
- And lastly, be passionate!
Classes are 25 minutes each and they encourage repeat classes, so you might be teaching the same students regularly. In addition, their parents can book you up to 6 months in advance leading to a more stable income.
If you enjoy interacting with kids, this is definitely a rewarding and flexible gig from home!
18. Stay Healthy During These Times: Get Paid to Lose Weight
There’s nothing like money motivation right? Especially for fitness. It’ll also give you something else to do besides being a couch potato and reading about unhappy news.
You might be extra inspired because there’s a health and wellness company that will pay you to lose weight. Seriously!
It’s called HealthyWage .
They have a ton of testimonial/pictures on their site along with legit places reviewing them from CNN, The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, etc.
So if you need some money motivation to lose weight, here’s how it works:
1. Start with the HealthyWage calculator (Read More )
2. Decide on a weight goal & amount of time to achieve it
3. Bet on yourself ranging from $20-$150 a month
4. Achieve your goal and you could win up to $10,000 depending on your HealthyWager!
5. If you don’t achieve your goal, the money goes to support HealthyWage, including prizes for others who achieve their goals
*EverQuote’s individual savings, if any, and premiums will vary by customer. Savings amount based on countrywide survey of users from Nov 2018 to Apr 2019 who reported old and new premiums.
*For Securities priced over $1,000, purchase of fractional shares starts at $0.05.
The Smart Wallet is a paid solicitor of Stash. Investment advisory services offered by Stash Investments LLC, an SEC-registered investment adviser. This material has been distributed for informational and educational purposes only and is not intended as investment, legal, accounting, or tax advice. Investing involves risk.
Investment advisory services offered by Stash Investments LLC, an SEC-registered investment adviser. This material has been distributed for informational and educational purposes only and is not intended as investment, legal, accounting, or tax advice. Investing involves risk.
You’ll also bear the standard fees and expenses reflected in the pricing of the ETFs in your account, plus fees for various ancillary services charged by Stash and the custodian. For current fee schedule, please see the Stash Wrap Fee Brochure. Other fees apply to the debit account. Please see Deposit Account Agreement for details.
*Promotions are subject to Terms and Conditions.
*0.09% national average APY: FDIC for the week of Feb 11, 2019- https://www.fdic.gov/regulations/resources/rates/#one
1 – Varo Annual Percentage Yield (APY) is accurate as of March 31, 2020. This rate is variable and may change. No minimum balance required to open account. Balance in Savings must be at least $0.01 to earn interest.
^Early access to direct deposit funds depends on timing of payer’s submission of deposits. We generally post such deposits on the day they are received which may be up to 2 days earlier than the payer’s scheduled payment date.
*Illnesses represent 90% of disability insurance claims: BusinessInsider
*Pricing for a 25 year old male, 5-year benefit period, 90 day waiting period and $1,000 monthly benefit with SDIR rider
Some of the sponsored links that appear on this page are from companies that offer investment advisory services. They compensate us; for details on our compensation arrangements, please click here.
*Millennials more likely to ask for a raise – Forbes